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Bear in Adams County

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Living with Bear in Adams County
By: 
Theresa David

“While I have not received any specific information about significant sightings in Adams county I am aware of some throughout the county, into the southern portion around the Dells as well.  Bears are common in Adams county so it is not surprising to hear of these sighting especially with more people staying close to home and getting out in the fields and forests around them,” said Erin Grossman, Wildlife Biologist with the Department of Natural Resources for Adams and Juneau Counties.  

The black bear is the only wild bear species found in Wisconsin and their color can range from black to shades of brown. Black bears are normally shy animals and try to avoid humans.  They build up fat reserves in the fall for hibernation in the winter.  

Bears are preparing for hibernation this time of year and are looking for easy food sources.  Black bears are opportunistic eaters so bird seed and garbage are common foods a bear wouldn’t have to work too hard for.  Never feed a bear! Bears will revisit places with consistent food sources.  Grossman said, “the most helpful tip I have given folks if they are getting bears near their home causing damage, take down their bird feeders and do not leave garbage or garbage cans outside.”

Grossman also said, “It is important to note if folks are experiencing nuisance or damage caused by black bears to call the USDA wildlife services.  The DNR contracts with them on these issues and they keep track of nuisance calls.”  

If you see a bear in your yard, place yourself in a secure area so the bear has a clear path to escape and then make a lot of nose to get them to leave.  Never approach a bear.  They are generally afraid of people, but may be defensive when protecting their young or a food source.  Bears can also become agitated if they are startled.  Most of the time a bear will avoid confrontation, however if you are confronted by a bear, make noise and raise your arms above your head to make you look larger than you are.  Slowly back away and don’t turn your back to the bear.  Always leave an escape route for the bear.  Black bear are exciting wildlife to observe and photograph, but they are wild animals so respect their space and view them from a distance.  

If there is a nuisance bear in your area or if you are experiencing agricultural damage problems, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services at 1-800-433-0663.  Visit www.dnr.wi.gov for more information